Chris Hilbrich began his career in 2013, developing industrial waterborne coatings at the Sherwin-Williams Company. He joined the ECKART America Corporation in 2017 as an R&D Chemist, where he currently works toward the development and maintenance of PVD products for the graphic arts and coatings markets. Chris holds a BS in Chemistry from Indiana University.

Breaking the Pigment-to-Binder Ratio Paradigm of Metallic Pigments: Concomitantly Promoting Pigment-Binder Bonding and Metallic Pigment Orientation

Devin Schmitt and Christopher Hilbrich, Eckart America Corporation

Aluminum PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) effect pigments afford highly reflective surfaces, combined with large surface area, resulting in an excellent optical performance in many applications with low binder content. In applications requiring high mechanical performance, higher binder content is typically utilized out of necessity, resulting in degraded optical characteristics (gloss, clarity, etc.). Good mechanical performance in high binder systems is a result of strong binder cohesion and increased binder intercalation. Pigment orientation is also paramount to improving optical characteristics. Our focus is a modification of the PVD pigment to promote both orientation and strong pigment-binder bonding, effectively reducing the necessity for binder intercalation. This allows the use of a higher pigment-to-binder ratio, improving optical characteristics while maintaining good mechanical performance. We show that pigments can be uniquely modified per binder system class (urethanes, acrylics, etc.)to provide their best optical and mechanical performance.Additionally, less binder may be utilized during the ink deposition, potentially reducing material costs.